PRINCE EDWARD the Earl of Wessex and Sophia, Countess of Wessex, are escourted along the allee from Government House by Governor General Dame Susan Dougan, Ministers and other dignitaries into the Botanic Gardens, where they are greeted by waiting school children.
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April 26, 2022
Royals touch down in St Vincent as part of Platinum Jubilee tour

THE EARL AND COUNTESS of Wessex touched down in St Vincent and the Grenadines last Saturday, April 23, where they met with dignitaries, female leaders and athletes as they continued their tour of the Region to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The couple’s visit to this state marked the second leg of their tour, having visited St Lucia on the previous day.

PRINCE EDWARD the Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and his wife, Sophie the Countess of Wessex were greeted at the Argyle International Airport with a welcome parade, which was followed by a Royal Salute and inspection of a guard of honour.

Following greetings from dignitaries on the tarmac, the Wessexes ventured outside, where they were serenaded by a 12-member group from the South

East Steel Orchestra as they made their way through lines of uniformed groups, including Cadets, Scouts and Girls Guides, some of whom were waving the national flag of this country.

Two separate convoys departed the Argyle International Airport, with Edward, the Earl of Wessex being ushered off to the Sir Vincent Beache Stadium at Diamond, where he met with athletes training for the Commonwealth Games and to witness two 70m-dash races in celebration of the Queen’s 70th year as Britain’s monarch.

He presented the medals to the winning athletes.

The Earl’s visit to Diamond was met with protesters at the entrance, who made calls for reparations. The group of protesters were again present at other stops throughout the day’s activities.

His Royal Highness also visited the Arnos Vale Sports Complex for a 10/10 exhibition cricket match dubbed “The Platinum Jubilee Match” against female cricket teams, Montreal Garden Bloomers and Balliceaux Warriors.

Prince Edward witnessed the short match from the comfort of the Presidential Suite, where he was in the company of Vincentian professional cricketer, Sunil Ambris and Minister with responsibility for sports, Frederick Stephenson.

Once the game was over, he went onto the field to present both teams with medals and the victors, Montreal Garden Bloomers with a plaque.

When Sophie, the Countess of Wessex’s convoy departed the International airport, she was taken to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC), where she was welcomed with a cultural performance from La Gracia Dance Company.

Her Royal Highness met with female entrepreneurs behind local brands, including Brio Che, Isla Antilles and Ronz Organic Seamoss Gel.

The countess is known for her charitable work primarily as it relates to issues revolving around people with disabilities, and women’s rights.

During her visit to the SVGCC on Saturday, she spent a few minutes speaking with members from the National Society for Persons with Disabilities, as well as the National Society of and for the Blind, who also had products on display.

Sophie, the Duchess of Wessex was then ushered into a private session with women who played an integral role in the recovery process after the explosive volcanic eruptions in 2021.

The women included Director of NEMO Michelle Forbes; Country Head of ABI for Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent, Shafia London; Audrey Walters-Butler and Hazzard Joseph, farmers from South Central Windward and North Windward respectively; and graduate teachers, Keisha Ballantyne, LaToya DeRoche-John and Ikarmola LaBorde.

Shernell Hadaway, legal counsel for the Medical Cannabis Authority served as moderator for the session.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex met once again at Government House where they participated in the presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh awards to 13 young Vincentians who met the Gold standard.

Following a brief reception and luncheon, the couple took a short stroll to the Botanic Gardens where they planted a tree to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A visit to the aviary to see the country’s national bird, the Amazona Guildingii and another cultural dance performance by the Renaissance Dancers preceded a visit to the Curator’s House for an exhibition depicting the effects of the eruptions of La Soufriere volcano.

A private meeting was held with Acting Prime Minister, Montgomery Daniel at the Prime Minister’s Residence, Old Montrose before the royal couple departed that evening for Antigua and Barbuda on the continuation of their tour.